How to Help Muslims Get Married
Sad but shocking reality: the divorce rate amongst Muslims in North America is one of the highest in the world.
According to New York-based Muslim sociologist Ilyas Ba-Yunus, Muslims in Canada and the U.S. have a divorce rate of 33 percent.
The world's highest is the general U.S. population's of 48.6 percent, followed by the United Kingdom's of 36 percent.
Many assume divorce means problems began in the course of the marriage, whether it was communication breakdown or irreconcilable differences. But there are many difficulties that lead to divorce which could have been avoided right from the beginning. This could have happened if individuals, parents, guardians and Imams had played their role right when communication between two Muslims seeking marriage began.
Below, we give some tips and advice of what you can do:
How Parents Can Help
The older woman noticed her instantly. The twenty-something girl was an American Muslim, her white skin and Caucasian features bore testimony to that. She was perfect for her dear son Muhsin. As she walked closer to her, she noticed the young woman talking to someone of a darker complexion.
The woman rushed up. “Assalamu alaykum,” she said smiling at the American Muslim girl.
“Wa alaykum as Salaam,” replied the sister and her friend in unison, both a bit startled by the enthusiasm and ardor with which they were being greeted.
“I would like you to marry my son,” said the woman barely inches away from the girl, and making no eye contact at all with her friend.
“But, but why,” she stammered.
“Because you are white and you are wearing a Jilbab (Islamic clothing).
You will make a perfect wife for my Muhsin!”
While some would be surprised at the candor and bluntness of the older woman in the above-mentioned scenario, such scenes are not uncommon. Many parents seem to think approaching a prospect out of the blue will “reserve” this person for their son/daughter. If you as a parent want to play an effective role in helping your children seek the right mate, things have to be done differently.
Understand Your Role
Your role as a mother or father is not to be the final arbiter of your child's marriage. This may be how marriages were arranged “back home” in a Muslim country, but it is neither the Islamic way, nor is this way acceptable to most Muslims who have grown up in the West. That is to say the parents have a tremendous responsibility in the process. They:
- Suggest individuals as prospective spouses
- Thoroughly screen and check proposals, call references
- Act as the third party between the two candidates